Superfood of the Month: Rutabaga

Rutabaga is a vegetable that boosts the taste of dishes, and many cultures incorporate it into staple foods or national delicacies. A healthy alternative to potatoes, rutabaga doesn’t have as many “empty” carbohydrates and provides a wide range of minerals and vitamins that benefit overall health.

Benefits

    Anti-cancer Properties
    Perhaps the most important function of rutabaga involves its diverse composition of antioxidant compounds.

    Aging

    Rutabagas effectively prevent premature aging, improve eyesight and stimulate the healthy regeneration of cells.

    Digestion

    Rutabagas are very high in fiber, providing more than 12 percent of the daily requirement in each serving.

    Immune System

    Vitamin C is the major vitamin present in rutabagas, and a single serving contains more than half of the required daily allotment of vitamin C, which is essential for many bodily processes, including stimulating the immune system to produce white blood cells.

    Blood Pressure
    The potassium in rutabagas can help lower blood pressure by reducing the stress and contraction of blood vessels.

    Other health benefits include osteoporosis and diabetes prevention, enzymatic function improvement, increased metabolism and weight loss.

    Recipe

      Turkey Meatloaf and Mashed Rutabaga with Sour Cream & Dill

      Turkey Meatloaf
      Servings: 6
      Ingredients

      • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
      • 1 c breadcrumbs (or almond flour)
      • 1 c shredded onion
      • 3 garlic cloves, minced
      • 3/4 c carrots, shredded
      • 1/2 c fresh spinach, chopped
      • 1/3 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
      • 1/4 c ketchup
      • 1 T parsley, chopped
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
      • 1 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp pepper

      Glaze
      • 1/4 c ketchup
      • 2 T brown sugar
      • 1 T Worcestershire sauce

      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°. Add all ingredients in a large bowl (less the ingredients for the glaze). Using a fork or clean hands, mix until fully incorporated.
      2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and put meat on the pan. Use your hands to form a loaf shape, trying to keep it level so it cooks evenly.
      3. To prepare the glaze, mix ingredients in a small bowl.
      4. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove and brush glaze over the meatloaf. Place back in the oven for another 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165°. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley to garnish.

      Mashed Rutabaga with Sour Cream & Dill
      Servings: 4 to 6

      Ingredients
      • 2 to 3 lb of rutabaga, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
      • Salt and black pepper
      • 2 tsp butter
      • 1/4 c to 1/2 c full-fat sour cream (more or less to taste)
      • 2 T fresh dill or chives, chopped

      Instructions
      1. In a large pot, cover chopped rutabaga with about 1-inch of cold water and bring to a boil.
      2. Add a generous pinch of salt and boil until tender or about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and return the rutabaga to the pot.
      3. Reduce heat to low and let the rutabaga steam for a minute or two. Mash with a potato masher.
      4. Add butter, sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, mix in the chopped dill or chives.

The Shingles Vaccine

Shingles is a virus that causes a painful rash with blisters on the body.

Doctors recommend a shingles vaccine for people once they turn 50. But some patients report feeling sick for a day or two after receiving the shot.

In this WIS Health U report, Dr. Francisco Albert of Lexington Medical Center and a shingles patient explain why short-term discomfort from the vaccine is far better than suffering through the shingles virus.

According to Dr. Albert, 1 in 3 adults will develop shingles. He says nearly everyone who receives a shingles vaccine will have pain at the injection site. And, about half of the recipients will have flu-like symptoms for a day or two – including aches, pains, chills, nausea and headaches. Those symptoms go away after 24 to 72 hours.

While those side effects sound rough, Dr. Albert says getting the shingles virus is far worse. Patients develop a painful rash with blisters that has been described as feeling like sharp little needles or a stinging pain from touching an open sore.

Sometimes, shingles can lead to long-term nerve pain, too. And, active shingles is contagious.

Even if you’ve had shingles, you should still get the vaccine – because patients can get it more than once.

Help for Couples Experiencing Infertility

Infertility is a unique medical diagnosis for doctors because it involves a couple rather than just an individual. For couples under age 35, infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. For couples over age 35, it’s six months.

In this WLTX interview inside Lexington Medical Center’s new patient care tower, Dr. Blake Chapman of Lexington Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, talks about diagnosing infertility and helping couples to welcome a baby.

According to Dr. Chapman, young, healthy, fertile couples only have a 15 to 20 percent chance of conceiving each menstrual cycle. After three months, approximately 50 percent of those couples would become pregnant. After 12 months, it jumps to 85 to 90 percent.

That means that approximately 10 to 15 percent of couples fall into the category of infertility and should see their health care provider.

About 1/3 of infertility is female factor infertility. Causes could be something a woman has been born with that’s making it difficult to conceive, a history of pelvic infections or surgery, or some medications she’s taking.

About 1/3 of infertility is male factor infertility. Causes could be a man has been born with something that’s making it difficult to conceive, his body doesn’t transport sperm correctly, or he’s had pelvic trauma or pelvic radiation.

The last 1/3 of infertility is undefined. That means doctors aren’t sure of the cause and help patients pursue other avenues to have a baby.

If you’re considering pregnancy, Dr. Chapman recommends seeing your physician for pre-conception counseling, which includes a look at your medical history and any medications you’re taking. This type of patient education plays an important role in optimizing chances of natural fertility.